Editorial for the September 23 edition of the Illawarra Mercury

The real stars of the show won’t be arriving in helicopter on Sunday night.

The real stars of the show won’t be on stage to take in the standing ovation when it comes at the end of the show.

The real stars of the show won’t be curled up in their luxury apartment by the time midnight hits on Sunday night.

The real stars of the show will face another couple of days of hard work once the show is over.

They are the ones who deserve high praise.

WIN Stadium venue manager Marc Swan (pictured) will be one of those unsung heroes.

To start with, Mr Swan was a large part of the reason Elton John’s Once in a Lifetime concert selected Wollongong as a concert venue in the first place.

Remember this is the only Elton John show in New South Wales. That’s pretty significant.

Over 40 per cent of the people coming to Sunday’s concert are coming from outside the Illawarra. They are coming from intrastate, interstate and overseas.

The event alone will inject millions of dollars into the local economy.

Destination Wollongong estimates over $3 million dollars will be put into the Illawarra economy all thanks to this one show.

The local tourism body rightfully points out the unlimited exposure to the region via the thousands of posts which will occur on social media provide an amount of exposure which will be almost impossible to put a dollar value on. 

Since the announcement, Mr Swan and his team have worked tirelessly to make this event happen along with Elton’s management team and promoters.

To understand fully what it takes to get WIN Stadium ready to be a full-scale outdoor concert arena, get on our Facebook page and check out some of the time lapse footage of the stadium being “built” to host the event.

It is breathtaking to say the least.

This concert will be a game changer for WIN Stadium. Other artists will certainly take note.

If Wollongong and WIN Stadium can pull off an event like this then there is untold potential for future concerts  such as this.

To everyone who has played any part, large or small, in making Sunday’s Once in a Lifetime concert happen you are the real stars of the show. Take a bow.